Ground: Jämtkraft Arena
Date: 29th June 2013
Match: Östersund - Hammarby 1-1 (Superettan)
Attendance: 6 028
When fixtures for Sweden were released the first match I looked at was Östersunds FK vs Hammarby. To my delight I could notice it was to be played in the summer meaning I could go to this match. Östersund is a very long journey for me and with train it takes 11,5 hours meaning I need three days for my visit. Östersunds FK was founded in 1996 when the three local clubs Ope IF, IFK Östersund and Östersund/Torvalla FF came together with the ambition to create a club in the city that would be able to establish itself in the top two tiers of Swedish football. The next year Frösö IF also joined the project. Two years ago the club played in Division 2 Norrland but back to back promotions mean the club nowadays play in Superettan. The city of Östersund has a population of around 44 000 and is situated in Jämtland county. Nearby Åre is Sweden´s most premier ski resort while Östersund itself has hosted the world championships in biathlon. In these parts there is always a proper winter! The summers are nice too and this time of the year there is more or less 24 hours of light.
The match against Hammarby was played on Saturday afternoon and I made the long journey on Friday, arriving in Östersund at 19.25. After checking in at my hotel I decided to walk to Jämtkraft Arena for some pictures. The weather this evening was really nice and with a youth game taking place I had access to the ground as well. Jämtkraft Arena was opened in 2007 and has a capacity of 6 100. There are two all-seated stands and for this season a new open (wooden) terrace was built behind the goal on the north side of the ground.. Before this season the record attendance at Jämtkraft Arena was 3 129. Östersund had 4 000 for the opening match this year but those records were to be smashed for the visit of Hammarby.
On Saturday morning I took it easy walking by the lake before making my way to the train station. Once there I welcomed German groundhoppers Boris and Dirk to Östersund. We then made the long (35-40 min.) walk to Jämtkraft Arena. Already 90 minutes before kick-off there was plenty of people at the ground. In total 6 028 turned up including an impressive 6-700 from Hammarby. Hammarby supporters always sing for 90 minutes and this match was no exception. The locals were quite impressed. Normally there aren´t any away fans at Jämtkraft Arena, it is too far to travel. To experience non-stop singing from a big away following was of course one of the reasons this match was sold-out. On the pitch Hammarby made it 1-0 in the 14th minute. Apart from the goal Hammarby didn´t create much though and in the second half it was all Östersund. The home team missed several good chances before deservedly equalising. This was yet another disappointing performance by Hammarby. Their loyal fans once again did their best to support the team though and should have a lot of credit for their efforts.
After the match, Boris, Dirk and myself walked back to the city centre. We made a small de-tour to visit Hofvallen, the old ground in Östersund. After a late dinner we went back to the train station. For logistic reason it was better for us to go back to Sundsvall this evening. At 23.30, still bright outside, we were in Sundsvall. A long but interesting day came to an end.
View from the train
Family day out!
Jämtkraft Arena, rear of the A-Stand
A closer look at the A-Stand
Proper Swedish wooden stand
A closer look...
View of play
View of Jämtkraft Arena
After the match